day at Wadi Fara
afternoon of Friday, 27 September/10 October, Archbishop
Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain came to the Skete
of St. Chariton in Wadi Fara, where vigil was scheduled
for 5 pm for the feast day of the monastery. Vestments were
brought from the Ascension Convent at the Mount of Olives.
The nuns from that convent made a gift to the brethren of
the Skete of a set of green vestments for analogia for the
occasion. Archbishop Mark served alone. The service was
read and sung by the brethren of the skete, along with Monk
Philaret of the Munich Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev,
who was there temorarily in order to experience monasticism
in the wilderness. After polyeleos and the reading of the
Gospel, Archbishop Mark donned rassas upon two laborers,
giving them belts, skufias and prayer beads. The new novices,
Brothers Alexander and Sergius, had worked for a long time
at the Skete of St. Chariton. Upon the arrival of Archbishop
Mark, one of them, having determined that there was no bread
for the litia, baked loaves from the dough remaining from
bread prepared for the monks and pilgrims earlier in the
day. Hegumen Andronik arrived with two nuns from the Mt.
of Olives by the middle of the canon, bringing prosphoras
for the liturgy the following day.
vigil, the brethren offered a lenten repast to their guests,
and Fr. Andronik took confessions. He could not stay overnight,
for he needed to serve liturgy at the Mt. of Olives the
The following morning, Saturday, 11 October, midnight office
began at 6 am, during which Archbishop Mark read the proskomedia.
During the reading of the hours, nuns from both Jerusalem
convents arrived along with several pilgrims. At the end
of liturgy, Hegumen Andronik came with two other nuns from
the Mt. of Olives. Archbishop Mark performed a service of
supplication to St. Chariton at his tomb together with Fr.
Andronik, after which everyone was invited by the brethren
for a trapeza luncheon. Several nuns from Jerusalem helped
with the trapeza, so all were able to sit down at the table
without delay. Naturally, the new novices worked in great
earnestness, having prepared food the previous day for 150
people. There were fewer people present at the trapeza (about
50), but after lunch another 50 people arrived from Tel
Aviv, who later went to Gethsemane for vigil.
After the end of trapeza, the eldest of the Fara brethren,
Monk Onufrii, described to Archbishop Mark the work needed
before the arrival of the winter rains to strengthen the
walls and buildings. Vladyka asked him to provide a budget
for the disbursement of funds. Later, Fr. Onufrii showed
Vladyka a large parcel of land with olive trees above the
Skete, which belong to them, the walls of which need to
be bolstered for safety.